Research Associate in the Industrial Sustainability, Research Capability Development Programme,
The Institute for Manufacturing (IfM)
Dai joined the IfM in 2003 as part of the MET programme, completing his studies and graduating in 2005. Following this he undertook a PhD examining alternate methods of processing difficult to handle polymer waste. During this time he developed a broader interest in sustainability and how industry might move towards fundamentally more sustainable means of manufacturing.
In 2008 Dai became involved in the development of a paper "Towards a sustainable industrial system - with recommendations for education, research, industry and policy" which was launched in September 2009. For the following two years he provided project support across a number of functions working as an embedded researcher at the IfM. This included collaborations with UKTI and reporting on EPSRC sponsored workshops in Japan and the UK. After completing a short research contract at the IfM, again working on sustainability related issues, he joined the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability external link as a lead researcher.
He is currently Lead Researcher in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability. He is leading the research activity on Configurations for Sustainable Industrial Systems, helping coordinate the Sustainability Assessment and Knowledge Exchange project, and is also providing support on the Performance Variation project. He is also developing the cohort programme, which aims to support the development of the EPSRC Centre PhD students, and develop links with the community beyond.
Dai is one of the organisers of an education and outreach group with diverse interests encompassing some or more of manufacturing, engineering, entrepreneurship, sustainability, STEM and engaging younger audiences. The group features academics, journalists, creative arts and museum creators and curators and meets roughly once a term to share the latest developments and activities in and around Cambridge and beyond.
He completed his PhD research into alternate methods of processing a difficult to handle polymer waste stream in 2009. The project investigated the processing of thermally sensitive and mixed materials into a potentially useful form, and identifying possible applications for the resultant materials.